Thursday, March 29, 2018

GUEEZ JACINDA, HE'S GOT YOU BY THE SHORT AND CURLIES AND IT'S SHOWING

St Jacinda's naive claim that there were no Russian spies in NZL to kick out shows a Prime Minister out of her depth.    That naivety was best summed up by security analyst Paul Buchanan who said this .... "(it was an) unbelievably stupid thing to say and it has made New Zealand a laughing stock (around the world)".

Paul Buchanan is of course no member of the GRWC.   His blog, Kiwipolitico, positions itself on the left side of the political divide.   Nevertheless, his background and experience in intelligence matters is such that his views have to be accorded a certain respect.   In this instance he's telling it how it is.

All of us who have been privileged to have held a red (diplomatic) passport know that part of our brief was to report back any conversation with a foreign national of substance where they spoke positively about New Zealand or alternatively, negatively about their own country or, more importantly, their own government.   That information was passed back for analysis and possible follow-up by the intelligence community.

So why it might be possible to claim Russia has no undeclared spy assets in the country it ignores the fact the the job of every diplomat is (to a greater or lessor degree) to gather intelligence about the country they are accredited to.    We do it, 'they' do it.

So good ole little NZL stands alone from its traditional allies and is being pilloried for it.   Our Foreign Minister is clearly beholden to his masters at 57 Messines Road having been wined and dined there (but only to excess).   You can fairly ask what hold do they have over him?    What-ever, the result is that he has presuaded the Prime Minister that it's not in our best interests to side with our friends and allies in following their example and expelling Russian diplomats in retaliation for the Skripal poisonings.  

Not in our best interests.   Tell you what Noel.   The odds on NZL getting an exemption from the newly imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports into the USA just got a hell of a lot longer. 


40 comments:

Andrei said...

We have an overgrown schoolgirl Prime Minister, in a job well above her paygrade

But there is no reason to suck up to Thereasa May and cover her ass - she has lied to the British People and the world about this and is about to betray those who voted for Brexit, probably using this as part of her deceit

You can Post all you like about Australian ball tampering Veteran but it rings hollow and hypocritical if you also abandon the basic principle of British Justice Innocent until proven Guilty

And British Prime Ministers of recent time havee a poor track record when it comes to claims about chemical weapons - they have been proven liars on several occaisions previously

Psycho Milt said...

St Jacinda's naive claim that there were no Russian spies in NZL...

[citation needed]

Hint: some journo's misrepresentation of her statements doesn't count as a citation.

For the record: it's the NZ SIS' responsibility to establish whether or not there are Russian spies operating in NZ, not Jacinda Ardern's. If the SIS can't positively identify any of the current Russian diplomatic staff as intelligence operatives, it's not her place to just randomly and arbitrarily nominate some. All this right-wing bleating is about virtue signalling to the Tories and to the Trump administration, not about the presence (or lack thereof) of spies in the Russian diplomatic mission.

David said...

The odds on NZL getting an exemption from the newly imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports into the USA just got a hell of a lot longer.

Point of order - NZ exports, US imports.

I think the odds have shortened as Trump is simply pretending to be tough on Putin. Putin provided the list of embassy staff (stenographers, typists, tea ladies) to be expelled and next week a new batch will slip in.

Putin has Trump by the balls and Trump knows it, as does Australia's former Ambassador to the US, Kim Beazley.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

You know Vet, if you posted and said short is short, David would mount a voluble case that , in fact, short is long.

David said...

FFS Adolf, you live in Oz = Short IS long. get with the culture.

Noel said...

One Steel is an Australian company.

Note the date was 9 March.
"Australian Industry Group Chief Executive Innes Willox said the exemption was a positive step but he was concerned it would only apply to steel and aluminium from Australia and not to Australian companies producing overseas. He said the threat of Australia sustaining collateral damage in a trade war also remained real."

“Australia will be among the biggest losers from a US inspired rise in global protectionism,” he said.

Noel said...

Diplomats may" ....(to a greater or lessor degree) to gather intelligence" and they can declare any association with an intelligence agency on entry or undeclared and hide as a diplomat.

Australia had 17 diplomats with 7 attaches, the latter who are usually the focus of been potential undeclared spies. They found 2 "undeclared intelligence operatives".

Russia has around 30 Attaches in London and around 20 were sent packing

New Zealand has a total of 8 diplomats, 3 been attaches and it is claimed none have been identified as "undeclared intelligence operatives".

It is plausible that there are no Russian intelligence agency operatives masquerading as diplomats with a direct flight now from Canberra to Wellington.

Anonymous said...

Veteran.........Singapore has a large US naval base and is utterly dependant on the west's good will to survive and yet no expulsions nor is it being "pilloried".....your view on that would be appreciated, in fact if you wish to pad the answer out with the 130 countries that have not expelled that would be good.

The US embassy had over 700 diplomatic staff in Moscow so one presumes the same number of Russian staff are in Washington Germany has 100 and the Germans gave 4% the heaveho.

If NZ gave 4% of the Russian diplomats marching orders they would have to send an Russian arm back...complete with Rolex.

This is non story. Our traditional friends were sometimes our traditional enemies...Japan did not engage in the firing. I agree the PM was little light hearted about it but she has more info on the situation than we have. No doubt that Russian Ambassadors all over the world have been called in for cups of tea and a slice of Fairy cake and read the riot act but we are 12,000 miles from the action and playing follow the leader is just stupid and counter productive particularly in the light of the Snowden leaks about what our "traditional" friends were up to.

Lord Egbut

The Veteran said...

PM .... you really want to pursue this? It is recorded in Hansard that the PM said there were no undeclared Russian Intelligence Officers operating in New Zealand. The stupidity of that statement was inadvertently confirmed by WRP today in his answer to Question 1 ... Judith Collins ... Does he really believe there are no Russian spies gathering intelligence in NZL ... WRP ... I think the PM and her Foreign Minister made it very clear yesterday that we admitted the possibility to the second category (Russian nationals gathering intelligence).

Called dancing on the head of a pin and Paul Buchanan was on the money to call her out on her naive stupidity ... so we are asked to believe there are no undeclared Russian Intelligence Officers operating in NZL (under diplomatic immunity) but there might well be others. No wonder Paul Buchanan was moved to say what he said.

David ... is that really the best you can do ... pathetic. I repeat again ... the US has placed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports into their country. I you want to argue that I should have said NZ is facing tariffs on steel and aluminum exports to the US then that's your privilege ... but you don't write my blog-spots.

Gerald said...

Brownlee when rebutting the DPM's explamation that the SIS could not identify undeclared spies amongst the Russian diplomats he emphasised that Government made foreign policy not the SIS. Never did go on to explain how National would have handled it if they were the Government.

Psycho Milt said...

It is recorded in Hansard that the PM said there were no undeclared Russian Intelligence Officers operating in New Zealand.

Then please provide the quotation from Hansard.

Novel said...

Russian nationals gathering evidence.
The Mossad spies stealing NZ Passports weren't Diplomats either.
It's about undeclared spies masquerading as diplomats.Poo

Anonymous said...

Andrei.....stop quoting British law. There have been many guilty verdicts based on probability and forensic evidence.....https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_murder_convictions_without_a_body

I this case the forensic evidence was shared with all allies in order for them to make a decision and it was convincing enough for them to act.

Lord Egbut

Anonymous said...

I expect the Russians have the same opinion of NZ as the Americans.....
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6519429/WikiLeaks-proves-brutal-US-diplomacy

I am liking the PM's style more and more. We are a sovereign nation and can make our own decisions without fear of being "pilloried"

Andrei said...

"I this case the forensic evidence was shared with all allies in order for them to make a decision and it was convincing enough for them to act."

IOn which cas e it would have been shared with Winston Peters and Jacinda Ardern which it hasn't.

But of course that statement of yours Egnut is just anothe "fact" pulled out of your own poop hole.

In any case the story we are being given is fuller of holes than a Swiss cheese

We are told that the Skripals were attacked with a "military grade" nreve agent 10 times more potent than sarin

We are now told they were attacked on their doorstep and despite the extreme lethality of this supposed substance went on to visit a graveyard, have drinks in a pub and have lunch in a restaurant brfore collapsing but not dying - WTF?

GB has not followed the protocols they are supposed to have when claiming a chemical attack has occurred on their territory under a treaty they are party to - they have just shot from the hip!

Nor have they followed international law regarding Yulia Skripal a Russian national with regard to consular access.

This very odd isncident is being used to rachet up tensions between the West and Russia and I'll yell you this nobody in Russia wants poor relations with the West and nobody in the West with any sense wants poor relations with Russia.

Because nobody wins from this except for unscrupulous politicians and the people who manufacture the machinary to kill and maim ordinary people like you and me

Anonymous said...

Andrei.......The NZ Govt has been fully informed of the progress of the case....please prove otherwise. Nobody gets access to people in comas while in intensive care... now that the daughter is improving and when out of danger she is at liberty to ask for consular access which she will be given....I bet she doesn't.

A far as I can see there is no official verification of the media speculation on application or time of application, but that's what we have to live with...media shooting from the hip but eventually they get it right. We operate under the rule of law and Russian accusations of British MI5/6 involvement just affirms the belief that the Kremlin would not think twice about ridding people that are inconvenient...starting with Trotsky and an ice pick and ending up with 98 journalists murdered during Putin's time in office...read it 98,98,98,98.

Lord Egbut

Anonymous said...

Якщо ви хочете, щоб мир і торгівля припинили вторгнення суверенних держав, вийди з України

The Veteran said...

PM ... normally I would advise people check the Hansard as I did but, out of respect for you, here tiz ... Wed 28 March Question 8 ...

Hon Todd McClay: Does he agree with the Prime Minister when she said yesterday, "We don't have Russian undeclared intelligence officers here."?

Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS: I agree with both the Prime Minister and the NZSIS, who gave her the information.

Of course since then NZL has acted HUGELY decisively and made it clear the Russians expelled by other countries will be denied entry into NZL. Big deal. Thought that would be axiomatic. The investment by Russia on their man in the Beehive is certainly paying dividends.

Psycho Milt said...

Ah, thank you. I'd found that one but ruled it out as it was Todd McLay saying it and I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him. As you could expect, he's stripped a quote out of its context and used the resulting misrepresentation to try and score a point, which no doubt makes him feel very satisfied with himself but doesn't alter the fact that the context exists.

Gerald said...

"The Mossad spies stealing NZ Passports weren't Diplomats either."
Add to that the recon team on the Rainbow Warrior.

To get back to topic it is about Russian intelligence agencies using diplomatic immunity as a cover.

One could join the many and speculate. My money would be on the GRU operatives in the UK.

But its more probable that the Russian Defence Attache here is not an agent and NZDEF has probably told him to go away on many occasions.

That's not to say that he doesn't meet with visiting Russian nationals with no diplomatic immunity.

The Veteran said...

PM ... so you are saying WRP is a liar ... I agree.

Look the reality is that every Russian diplomat is an intelligence gatherer of sort as is every New Zealand diplomat. That makes the 'undeclared intelligence officer bit (i.e a diplomat undercover employee of the SVR RF) a convenient straw man. And you might wish to go back to my 9.31 comment where WRP acknowledged that both he and the PM accepted there could well be Russian nationals with links to the SVR RF active in NZL.

NZL's response to the Skripal affair has been to play catch up football with WRP running interference at every opportunity.

Noel said...

Wouldn't worry about McLay.
This one has the who country chuckling.
https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/winston-peters-reduces-parliament-hysterics-clever-comeback-russian-spy-controversy

The Veteran said...

Gerald ... Don't think that Russia has a Defence Attache as such here. Certainly not listed on their diplomatic list. Not to say that one of the three Attaches listed doesn't have a watching brief on things military. But certainly I agree it is probable that one of the embassy staff is the conduit for information received from any other intelligence assets the Russians might have in NZL.

Noel ... I agree WRP is a joke.

Andrei said...

Well Veteran all the expelled Russians had diplomatic credentials. Some of those deported from the USA were credentialed to the UN not the USA - which raises interesting issues in itself

But any Russian in New Zealand on a Visa can have their visa revoked at any time but that would not make the point that it is the Russian Government that is being symbolically "punished"

But what is your main aim - to score partisan political points or to get to the bottom of what really occurred in the Skripal case and see the perpertrators brought to justice in an open court?

The Veteran said...

Andrei ... my point is that our Foreign Minister has compromised himself with the Russians to the point where he either wittingly or unwittingly is running interference for them to the determent of NZL aided and abetted by a PM out of her depth.

Care to hazard a guess why NZL wasn't invited to the Australian hosted ASEAN Special Summit held in Sydney two weeks ago?

Andrei said...

Vet we can both agree that our electoral system has delivered an appaling Government, as an aside I campaigned vigourously to return to FFP when we had the option and my side lost

But the Government we have is the legitimate Government under the rules of our democracy and as such we should not seek to undermine it for the sake of political partisanship when in doing so harms the interests of New Zealanders

The Skripal incident is a very murky thing and political wisdom should have dictated that this was a case where New Zealand's interests were best served by "letting sleeping dogs lie" because nobody would actually notice if our Government did and said nothing officially - it just wouldn't register in the grand scheme of things.

Who is New Zealands biggest trading Partner Veteran? Hint it isn't Great Britain by a long shot

Perhaps that is democracies greatest weakness - ambitious politicians do things to advance their own interests rather than the interests of the people they purport to serve.

I don't think Hillary Clinton still going on about why she lost the election, touring the world to do so and blaming everyone but herself, including harming American / Russian relationships in the process is serving the best interests of the average American citizen. Do you?

Psycho Milt said...

PM ... so you are saying WRP is a liar ...

Nope, I'm saying that Nat politicians are good at stripping quotes of their context and then misrepresenting them for political purposes. If only they were good for something other than that.

It's kind of funny watching Nat politicians who were cabinet ministers mere months ago trying to present NZ as a hotbed of Russian spies and with an incompetent domestic intelligence agency that's been asleep on the job. Well, duh, if that were the case it didn't happen in the last five months, so perhaps the Nats asking the questions in Parliament should be asked why they aren't directing the questions to their own cabinet colleagues.

The Veteran said...

PM ... nice try, fail. I'll say again s l o w e l y so you might understand. Every diplomatic mission, to a greater or lessor degree, 'spies' on the country it is accredited to. It's a game ... the rules are known and accepted by all sides. It's only when covert becomes overt or special circumstances present (as in the Skripal affair) that diplomats are expelled.

This time round we opted to stand aside from our friends and allies. Our move will be applauded in countries like Zimbabwe and North Korea and by some in NZL who hanker after a truly independent foreign policy (defined as being unaligned). For many of us the price you pay for that indulgence is much too steep.

David said...

Care to hazard a guess why NZL wasn't invited to the Australian hosted ASEAN Special Summit held in Sydney two weeks ago?

Because NZ is not a member of ASEAN?

Because it was an Australian initiative? One to drive increased trade between Oz and ASEAN members.

Because Jacinda is cuter than Lucy?

OH NO! IT"S BECAUSE NZ WON'T JOIN THE EXPULSION.

How many ASEAN members expelled Russians? In fact, excluding US, Aus and Canada, how many non European states have expelled Russians?





David said...

For many of us the price you pay for that indulgence is much too steep.

Yes, just like the no nukes policy did .... oh, wait, that stopped 1000's of NZ women from being infected by STDs.

Gerald said...

Heaps of criticism to Labour's position but no hint what National would do?

Give all the Russian diplomats a dice number and expell the matching diplomat?

Your rabbiting on about every diplomat does some spying on the side is becoming tiresome.

And you call David a dancer.

The Veteran said...

Gerald ... In case you hadn't picked up on the news National ain't in government but do you have any doubt that with the 'Good Guys' in charge one of the Russian diplomats wouldn't be Goneski?

Re rabbits ... is it the fact that it's an inconvenient truth that is upsetting you or is it the clusterf**k that has characterised the COL over the past month that is getting to you?

Andrei said...

"Our move will be applauded in countries like Zimbabwe and North Korea and by some in NZL who hanker after a truly independent foreign policy (defined as being unaligned)."

That is typical of the empty headed political rhetoric that people whose interests lie in political power and not the interests of humanity vomit up

Guess what Veteran very few if any people in Zimbabwe or North Korea even know about this let alone give a shit!

New Zealand is a tiny little country in the middle of nowhere, that does not lie on any important trade routes, does not hold much in the way of strategic resources and which 99.9% of the worlds popualtion could not find on the map and that includes about 90% of the citizens of the USA btw

Basically an idyllic little backwater with a benign climate, fertile fields and ample electricity where it is good to live but not very exciting


Gerald said...

".....do you have any doubt that with the 'Good Guys' in charge one of the Russian diplomats wouldn't be Goneski?"

Ahh so that's how you want Labour to make New Zealand acceptable to world media by throwing the dice and deporting the "arm with Rolex"?

Geez

Psycho Milt said...

Every diplomatic mission, to a greater or lessor degree, 'spies' on the country it is accredited to.

True but irrelevant. Our allies have expelled Russian diplomats on the basis they were undeclared intelligence agents, which is not the same thing as every diplomatic mission gathering infomation about its host country. The issue is whether there are any such undeclared intelligence agents in the Russian embassy here, and it's not for the PM or the Foreign Minister to arbitrarily declare some if our own intelligence agencies are unable to identify any.

This time round we opted to stand aside from our friends and allies.

Well, yes. First and foremost, because we couldn't identify an honest basis for participating in this turfing out of alleged spies, which ought to be considered an excellent reason by anyone who values good governance. National's view, and apparently the view of the country's media owners, is that a dishonest basis should have been found because brown-nosing our five-eyes "superiors" is far more important than good governance. Thank Christ that approach to government has been ditched for a while.

The Veteran said...

PM ... I get it now ... there are 'real' spies and 'part-time' spies but it's only the real spies that count. Guess it's a bit like 'real' (electorate) MPs and 'ersatz' (List) MPs .... if you get my point.

Anonymous said...

Nah you don't get it....dance to the right...a little more...a little more...a little more...a little more.....a little more...............................................................

Anonymous said...

Andrei and Veteran seem to suffer from the same disability in that inconvenient questions are forgotten. Presumably Veteran has penned his missive to the Singapore and Japanese Govts giving them a good pillorying for not symbolically ejecting a Russian.

Just give me the names of those pilloried us and I will get stuck in and pillory right back. The PM has done the right thing in being so far removed from the scene.

Andrei.......98 journalists since 2000.....11 high ranking Putin critics in 12 months must be the Vodka.

Lord Egbut

Psycho Milt said...

PM ... I get it now ... there are 'real' spies and 'part-time' spies but it's only the real spies that count.

Exactly. Everyone in a diplomatic mission passes on information they think will be useful to their country, but that's not the same thing as being an intelligence agent based in a diplomatic mission. Our Five-Eyes allies have expelled people they've identified as the latter, NZ SIS says they can't identify any of those in NZ so our government hasn't followed suit. So far, so what.

Cue a media flap because the Nat MPs think that if we can't identify and intelligence agents based in the Russian diplomatic mission, we should just expel a bunch of them at random, because they all pass on information of some kind to their home country and who gives a shit, it's the brown-nosing our allies that counts. I'm not disputing that that's what they think, I'm just saying it's not the kind of governance I want to have.

Noel said...

I think you will find it's now 7 eyes with the inclusion of Singapore and South Korea.